Environmental Protection Agency

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Watchdog: Massive Spending on Pruitt's Security Not Justified

Office of the Inspector General report released

(Newser) - A whopping $3.5 million was spent on round-the-clock security for former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, one of many agency expenditures that made waves before Pruitt departed the role in July—and a new report from the EPA's internal watchdog says the agency failed to prove the security spending... More »

Pruitt Placed Single Call From His $43K Phone Booth

How many incoming calls the former EPA head received is unknown

(Newser) - Scott Pruitt is no longer head of the Environmental Protection Agency, but the saga of his $43,000 phone booth isn't quite over. The Washington Post is out with one last financial tidbit courtesy of the Sierra Club, which sued the EPA to access records related to Pruitt. It... More »

Weed-Killing Chemical Found in Popular Breakfast Foods

Traces fall below EPA limits

(Newser) - You could be ingesting the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup for breakfast, per a report identifying traces of the chemical glyphosate in Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, and Great Value Instant Oats, plus more products marketed to kids. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group tested 45 oat-based products like granolas... More »

'Law and Order' Trump Is Softer On One Class of Offender

Public Citizen sees profound drop in corporate penalties

(Newser) - While Donald Trump has positioned himself as a tough, "law and order" president, he has mostly excluded one group of offenders from his sights: those of the corporate class, according to a report released Wednesday by Washington-based watchdog Public Citizen . The report found that in 11 of the 12... More »

Watchdog to EPA: You Need to Do Better After Flint Crisis

Federal watchdog calls on EPA to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems

(Newser) - A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems in the wake of the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, the AP reports. The EPA's Office of Inspector General says in a report that the agency must take steps now... More »

Was an 'Embarrassing' Story Pruitt's Undoing?

And more on EPA administrator's sudden 'resignation'

(Newser) - There was no "final straw" that led to the departure of Scott Pruitt from the EPA, per President Trump, who says it was Pruitt who asked to step down, the Hill reports. "It was very much up to him," Trump said when pressed by reporters about Thursday'... More »

Woman With Toddler Confronts Pruitt During Lunch

She tells EPA chief he should resign

(Newser) - Scott Pruitt became the latest Trump administration official to have an uncomfortable dining experience when he was confronted Monday by a woman—and her 2-year-old son. Kristin Mink says Pruitt was three tables away from her when she had lunch at the Teaism restaurant in Washington, DC, and she decided... More »

33 Fixer Upper Renovations Broke EPA Rules

Magnolia Homes will pay $40K fine in settlement

(Newser) - Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are having to pay up for EPA violations seen on their hit HGTV show. The couple's business, Magnolia Homes, has agreed to pay a $40,000 fine after the EPA determined 33 of its home renovations were "conducted without adequate lead... More »

Latest Pruitt Revelation Involves Chick-fil-A

EPA head used aide to help him as he tried to get his wife a franchisee position

(Newser) - The latest odd revelation in the saga of Scott Pruitt's activities since becoming the head of the Environmental Protection Agency: Pruitt at one point attempted to use "his official position and EPA staff" to get his wife a job, as the Washington Post puts it. That job? Chick-fil-A... More »

The EPA Spent $1,560 on a Dozen Fountain Pens

Plus $1,670 on personalized journals

(Newser) - More controversial expenditures at the Environmental Protection Agency have been revealed thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request: Last year, one of EPA chief Scott Pruitt's top aides spent $1,560 on fountain pens and $1,670 on personalized journals, the Washington Post reports. The order from Tiny... More »

AP Reporter Grabbed, Shoved Out of EPA Building

EPA has since reversed course, allowed reporters into meeting

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency reversed course Tuesday and allowed a reporter for the Associated Press to cover a meeting on water contaminants after she was earlier grabbed by the shoulders and shoved out of the building by a security guard, the AP reports. The AP journalist, Ellen Knickmeyer, said that... More »

17 States Sue Over EPA Move on Gas Mileage

Agency plans to drop emissions standards

(Newser) - California and 16 other states sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its plan to scrap Obama-era auto-emissions standards that would require vehicles to get significantly higher gas mileage by 2025. At issue is a move by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt to roll back 2012 rules aimed at curbing... More »

Congressman to Pruitt: If I Were Your Boss, 'I'd Get Rid of You'

EPA administrator blames scandals on staffers, Trump enemies

(Newser) - Scott Pruitt blamed staffers, the media, his job's "steep learning curve," and President Trump's enemies for numerous controversies during hours of testimony before Congress Thursday. "Let me be very clear: I have nothing to hide as its relates to how I've run the agency... More »

White House Investigates Pruitt's $43K Phone Booth

39 senators call for EPA chief to step down

(Newser) - Scott Pruitt's week isn't getting any easier: White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday that he's planning to investigate the embattled EPA chief's activities, which include allegedly violating the law by spending $43,000 in taxpayer funds on a soundproof phone booth for his office,... More »

Scott Pruitt's $43K Phone Booth Broke the Law

Because the EPA didn't notify Congress, a government watchdog finds

(Newser) - It may be a fresh week for Scott Pruitt , but it's not one void of uncomfortable headlines. ABC News reports a government watchdog has determined the EPA "violated section 710” of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act when it spent $43,000 on a "secure"... More »

Scott Pruitt Has 20-Member Full-Time Security Detail

AP reports that's more than 3 times the part-time contingent his predecessor had

(Newser) - Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes. Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that... More »

Trump Praises EPA Chief Pruitt Amidst Controversy

Other White House officials don't sound so sure about his future

(Newser) - White House officials sounded increasingly doubtful Thursday about the future of embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, even as President Donald Trump appeared to throw him a public lifeline, the AP reports. Speaking Thursday to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump used a series of superlatives to describe Pruitt.... More »

White House Stewing Over Scott Pruitt's Condo Rental

'His goose is cooked,' says EPA source

(Newser) - Scott Pruitt may be in hot water again—now for renting an apartment from the wife of an energy lobbyist who's had business with the Environmental Protection Agency, CNN reports. Pruitt, who heads the EPA, leased a room in the Washington, DC, condo for just $50 a night on... More »

Hurricane Harvey's Toxic Impact Wasn't Fully Disclosed

6 months later, only a few spills have been investigated by the feds: AP

(Newser) - More than a half-year after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, the extent of the resulting environmental assault is beginning to surface, while questions about the long-term consequences for human health remain unanswered. County, state, and federal records pieced together by the AP and Houston Chronicle reveal more than... More »

EPA Chief Says He Flies First-Class for Security

Scott Pruitt blames 'toxic' political environment

(Newser) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says he needs to fly first-class because of a toxic environment—the political one. He says he wasn't involved in the decision to put him in first class when he travels, which he says was made after some unpleasant interactions with travelers opposed... More »

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